Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Goin' Downtown - NYC Day 3

Day 3 of our New York adventures we headed downtown.  We stopped at the Blue Spoon Coffee Co for breakfast.  Their coffee was unbelievable.  Better than Starbucks.  (I can't believe that I just said that!)  And my chocolate chip muffin was oh so delish!

We had tickets for the 9/11 memorial at 11:30 so we had a lot of time to kill.  We started off at the Court House.  You may recognize those steps from basically every episode of Law and Order.  Then we just kind of wandered around.  Found a little park by City Hall, went down to Battery Park (and almost blew into the Hudson), looked at the Statue of Liberty from afar.

Below is St. Paul's Cathedral.  This is where a lot of the volunteers during 9/11 recuperated, got something to eat, or slept on a cot.  Each time I have gone to the chapel, there has been a bit less 9/11 memorabilia than there was the time before.  I guess ground zero was the same way.  Everything was removed gradually as people are able to move on.  It wasn't quite as emotional for me this time, but maybe that's just because I have seen it before.
What was emotional for me this time, was just walking around the area.  I'm not sure what was different than the other times, but for some reason, this time I thought about what it was like that morning.  We were down there at 9am on a Monday morning.  Walking amongst other tourists and all of the New Yorkers on their way to work.  The first plane hit at around 8:45, so I was thinking about how it was just a typical day, and what it was like for all those people who didn't know what was going on at the time. 

Below is the Trinity Church and cemetery.  It was a beautiful church from the outside.  We spent some time wandering around the cemetery.  (Is that creepy).  Some of the tombstones were so old that you couldn't read them anymore.  So many of them were for children, or 28 year olds or 43 year olds, back from a time when nobody lived into their 80's or 90's.  I also just found out that JJ Astor (who died on the Titanic) was buried in this cemetery.  Wish I had of known that when I was there! Unfortunately this wasn't really a planned stop, so I hadn't looked into the cemetery ahead of time.

 This is Wall Street. 
 This is the Wall Street sign. (Thank you Captain obvious).
This is a man with a cat on his head.  We snapped a pic, cause it was weird.  Then he caught someone trying to take a picture and tried to charge them a dollar.  We really dodged a bullet there!
We made it to 11:30 and after going through some extreme security, made it into the 9/11 memorial.  It was a beautiful large park, which is currently surrounded by fences and construction. 
There are two large pools where the original towers stood.  The names of all those who died are written around the edges of the pools.  I'm sure once everything in the area is completed, it will be an amazing space for people to remember all those who died on September 11th.
After the memorial, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge!  It was pretty neat.  Very long! They have a separate walkway for people to walk on that is above the road.  One side of that white line is for walkers, the other is for bikes.  I'm not sure that people actually follow that, there seemed to be a lot of walkers on the bike side.  It's a pretty spectacular bridge.

Luckily, we had a goal in mind while walking across the bridge.  I had heard that Grimaldi's pizza in Brooklyn was one of the best pizza places in the city.  And that may be true.  It was quite delish.  Everything I read says the long wait is worth it, so we must have lucked out because we were seated right away.  I meant to take a picture of the pizza when it came out, but I was distracted by my hunger.
We took the subway back into the city.  We ended up at the Flatiron building.  And then walked up to the Museum of Sex.  Oh us dirty dogs.  It's actually just a lot of reading about the history of sex, sexual habits of animals and so on.  They claim a lot of animals take part on homosexual relations.  I found that slightly hard to believe.  And there was a picture of a duck having sex with a dead duck - the first documented necrophilia in animals, or something.  Strange or interesting? I don't know.  Too much reading for Ryan.  But it's got a name that just draws people in I think! 
 That night, we wanted a real dinner.  Last time I was in New York I went to this restaurant that had an all you can eat pasta deal for like $20.  You got salad or antipasto and then three different kinds of pasta.  Then they keep refilling the pasta if you want.  Problem was, all I knew was that it was Italian and close to Times Square.  So I googled it.  What did people do before Google?  It was called Becco and it was only one block away from our hotel on 46th between 8th and 9th Avenue.  Turns out that's Restaurant row.  Who knew that there was a street with 31 restaurants within one block! (Well now you know).  

After dinner, we walked it off.  We considered ice cream, but were just too full.  We are such travel losers.  In bed early every night.  But it's our vacation and we will do what we want! So we went to bed early....again.....But at least I have a picture of Times Square at night. 

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